Suzuki already testing 2022 MotoGP engine in Qatar

Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli has revealed the Japanese marque has already been testing its 2022 MotoGP engine during Qatar pre-season running

Suzuki already testing 2022 MotoGP engine in Qatar

As part of COVID-19 cost-saving measures introduced at the height of the pandemic last year, all engine development for non-concession manufacturers (Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati and KTM) has been outlawed for 2021 and 2020 engines must carry over.

KTM must observe the same development ban, but has been allowed to build a new engine for homologation as the original rule was written while it was still a concession manufacturer.

Suzuki has new 2021 parts it has been trying in Qatar, including a new chassis and swingarm, but it has also taken the opportunity with test riders Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda to begin testing a 2022-spec engine.

Reigning world champion Joan Mir was the best-placed Suzuki in Saturday's test running, placing third behind Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Stefan Bradl (Honda).

“We’ve started straight away testing quite a lot of new items,” Guintoli said on Saturday.

“We have a new engine spec, this is for 2022. So, we’ve been working on that already.

“And today [Saturday] we also did some more work with chassis. So, a new chassis, new swingarm, a different suspension as well.

“We’ve done quite a lot of work already today, which is very interesting. So, that’s it, flatout straight away and I haven’t ridden in five months. So, I’m feeling it!

“We’re looking for some improvements already in the philosophy that we’ve got, because obviously it’s not working too bad at the moment, the 2020/2021 spec.

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Obviously, the inline-four is missing a little bit of top speed, so we’re trying to compensate a little bit in that way as well.

“At the moment, because the engine is already very good, it’s not going to be some huge step.”

When asked if developing a 2022 engine could have a negative impact on race riders Mir and Alex Rins, who have just five days of testing available to them before the 2021 season gets underway, Guintoli noted the unpredictable nature of the COVID pandemic meant Suzuki had to use the opportunity presented by the current engine freeze to begin its 2022 work early.

“This year with the frozen engine spec, this kind of allows us work for 2022,” he explained.

“I think that was a very good thing to do, because considering this situation with COVID it’s so difficult.

“I can’t go to Japan to test. So, there’s been some testing there but it’s not the same.

"The few tests we had last year, we tried to use the time as good as possible but working already for the future is really important now because we don’t know what this year is going to be made of as well. We don’t know how many opportunities we’re going to get.

"We need to get stuck in straight away, make the most of our time, be efficient with the track time we have.

“An engine spec is not an easy decision, so we have to get stuck in straight away.”

Suzuki has been caught out by a misstep in engine direction before, when in its first year as a non-concession team in 2017 Andrea Iannone selected the wrong spec pre-season.

The Japanese marque struggled all year and ultimately gained its concessions back for 2018 after a podium-less campaign.

shares
comments
Espargaro: Honda and KTM MotoGP bikes “too different to compare”

Previous article

Espargaro: Honda and KTM MotoGP bikes “too different to compare”

Next article

Quartararo "totally lost" readjusting to Yamaha MotoGP bike

Quartararo "totally lost" readjusting to Yamaha MotoGP bike
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar Testing
Teams Team Suzuki Europe
Author Lewis Duncan
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar Plus

The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar

The MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Qatar - two years after it last visited the Losail circuit for a race weekend as last season's round was called off. As ever, the pecking order is difficult to map out at this early stage of the season, but perhaps the 2019 race offers some clues as to how things might shake out...

MotoGP
Mar 27, 2021